Monday, June 22, 2015

Second Half Quartet - Memphis Quartet Show

Thursday I got the chance to slip away across the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee to the Memphis Quartet Show. I was able to be there for the matinee show with the Second Half Quartet and the night's concert with Tribute Quartet, Dixie Echoes, Archie Watkins and Smoky Mountain Reunion, The Old Paths, Primitive Quartet and Mark Trammell Quartet.

The Second Half Quartet consists of Greater Vision (Gerald Wolfe, Chris Allman and Rodney Griffin), Mark Trammell and Pat Barker. The Mark Trammell Quartet and Greater Vision do several dates together. When Pat was with the group, they would do some quartet music in the second half of concerts. This lineup became a popular draw to these concerts, so they created the Second Half Quartet.

Second Half Quartet - Gerald Wolfe, Chris Allman, Mark Trammell,
Rodney Griffin and Pat Barker
The afternoon was about an hour and a half of just quartet singing with keyboard and bass guitar. No soundtracks were used which got applause when announced along with some hearty "amens." I honestly am not sure the last time or if I ever have seen a concert with no soundtracks used.

They sang so many older songs and Cathedral classics. The crowd couldn't get enough of it! During the concert, Gerald said that they were supposed to take an intermission. Audience members quickly yelled out "No!" when Gerald asked about taking a break, so we were treated to more singing! In so many ways, I still feel like a new fan not being as familiar with older songs. It was so great to hear just classic quartet singing for an afternoon!

Here are some of the highlights -

  • "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" - They actually sang this a cappella. It was absolutely incredible!
  • "Prodigal Son" - This was the first song I remember hearing this lineup sing after seeing a video on YouTube. Rodney is great on this Cathedrals classic!
  • "There's Something About That Name"/ "I Will Serve Thee" - Loved hearing these two Gaither songs together. Pat started off "I Will Serve Thee" and they ended it a cappella. You could see Gerald at the keyboard just sitting back and enjoying. He made the comment after it was over, "That was just good, I don't care who you are!" And it was!
  • Dianne Wilkinson songs - The legend herself was at the event. The quartet made sure to mention her and sing "Master Builder" and "Boundless Love."
  • "I Know a Man Who Can" - I honestly never get tired of hearing Chris sing this song. Gerald took time to introduce each of the men singing. He talked about how Chris attended a Cathedral concert when he was younger and got to sing on stage with them. He was bitten by the bug after that.
  • "Remind Me of Calvary" - Another Cathedrals song that Mark was featured on. Gerald called Mark the most consistent singer in gospel music, and I definitely agree. 
  • "Thanks to Calvary" - I love hearing Pat sing this song. It was so great to see him on stage singing again. 
This group is actually releasing a CD. They had pre-releases available that afternoon, and so I was lucky enough to get one! They won't be available until December 30. The CD is great and contains 10 songs. They sang most of them Thursday afternoon. A few that I didn't mention above are "When I Move," "Cheer the Weary Traveler" and "Rivers of Joy." Be sure to get it when it becomes available!

This group doesn't appear together often, so I'm thankful I was able to catch them in Memphis! It was an incredible afternoon of gospel music!  


  1. Does the cd have full orchestration or is it just piano and bass? Does Gerald sing at all or just play the piano?

    1. It's primarily just piano and guitar with some drums. Gerald just plays, he's not listed on the CD with vocal credits. I checked just to be sure!

    2. Thanks for checking. It sounds like it will be a good cd to get.

    3. No problem! Yes, it's a great CD, definitely recommend getting it when it comes out in December!


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